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“Larry Bird beat a Celtics reporter in a shootout with his right hand completely taped up”: How the Celtics legend got into a bar fight and inadvertently won $160

Larry Bird once bet a Celtics reporter that he’d beat him in a free throw contest after having injured his right hand in a bar fight. 

When it comes to NBA players with the utmost confidence in themselves, Larry Bird is in the uppermost echelon of this category. The man who raised his right hand during the 1988 three point contest before his final shot was even on its descent is one of the most accomplished players in NBA history and it’s clear as to why. 

To the uneducated eye, Larry Bird may have looked like a stiff man who had a high arcing shot. However, watching him for more than even a couple minutes made it extremely apparent as to just how skilled he was.

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The Celtics legend had refined his basics (head fakes, ball fakes, jab steps, etc.) to such a ‘T’ that it was almost harder to imitate him as he’d perfected his craft to such a high level. 

His best skill is also a skill that is lauded the most in the modern NBA: shooting. Whether it was his shots from beyond or from the mid-range, Bird had beautiful touch. 

Larry Bird earned $160 from a Celtics reporter through means of a shooting contest. 

Many may remember the infamous bar fight that Larry Bird was involved smack-dab in the middle of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers in 1985.

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The Celtics would win this series 4-1 but not without Bird coming out of it unscathed as he’d injured his right index finger quite badly during the fight. Despite this, Larry Bird challenged Dan Shaughnessy (reporter for the Boston globe from 1982-86) to a free throw contest. 

For every shot someone made, $5 were forked over. Bird had his trainer tape up his shooting hand as he balled up his fist and used his left hand to guide the ball into the basket. He made $160 that day.



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